If you’ve got $20+ to blow, and happen to be in Kansas, fast-food restaurant Spangles has a challenge for you.
Launched on Christmas Eve, the Beast is a limited-time offering by Spangles, though will continue to be sold while customer demand for it exists. The burger itself features six 1/3-pound steak burger patties, 12 slices of American cheese, mustard, ketchup, onion, and pickle.
We asked Mary Hartley, R.D., to break down the Beast nutritionally. While Spangles says the burger has 3,000 calories, she estimates that the number is closer to 3,570. “To put it in perspective, one burger provides almost two days worth of calories, sodium, and calcium; 3.5 days worth of fat, cholesterol and iron; 6 days worth of protein; and 16.5 days worth of saturated fat; but (oops!) no fiber.”
Hartley also said this sad excuse for a sandwich reminded her of the Heart Attack Grill in Vegas. We have to agree with the comparison, though we hope no one suffers the same fate as one of one Heart Attack Grill patron and their spokesperson: Both died of heart attacks last year.
In an interview with the Wichita Eagle, Spangles marketing director Stephanie Huckins said the burger is just something fun for people to talk about. “We don’t expect people to eat it alone by any means.” Huckins may not expect people to eat the burger alone, but the fact is the “value meal” option, which will cost you nearly $25, only comes with one drink and one side of fries. That’s not really share-friendly, now is it?
“I hope an individual would not be able to consume the entire sandwich in one sitting, but if so, then I would expect it to override the body’s capacity to digest the whole thing, to result in gas and possibly diarrhea,” Hartley said.
Full disclosure: I can’t speak to eating the whole thing on my own, but I did recently order the Beast. Even after splitting the monstrous meat pile with friends I couldn’t finish my portion. It tasted really greasy and my stomach felt a little off for hours after. This was not a challenge I was up for—which is just fine by me!
However, the people of Wichita, residents of the 13th most obese state with a 29 percent obesity rating, are jumping at the chance to “conquer the Beast.” According to Spangles, 12 people ordered the burger on New Year’s Day. Since the burger alone costs $21.99, at least $264 was spent on the Beast in one day.
The wastefulness of the Beast has some Wichitans fired up.
People are paying $20+ for a Spangles burger they can’t possibly eat, yet holiday giving was down for local nonprofits. That’s really nice.
— Allieeeeby (@Allie_Eby) January 2, 2014
It was reported in early December that several charitable organizations were struggling to find donations, with many seeing less than half the amount of donations they had raised by that time last year.
Sure, some may see the Beast as a fun publicity stunt, but there’s nothing fun about it. It’s disgusting, wasteful, and terrible for your health. Shame on Spangles for pushing the Beast into the market, and let’s hope no other burger chain follows suit.